After 364 days of planning meetings, fundraising events and bag decorating, the 2013 Redwood County Relay For Life event is being held this Friday.
The annual gathering at the Gilfillan Estate is being held for the 20th time this year, and there are a few changes in store for those who are planning to attend.
“We’re excited about the changes we are making,” said Ann Rose, a member of the Relay For Life steering committee, adding much of the change taking place this year is based on suggestions the committee received from those who are involved with Relay For Life.
The first change is in the event timeline, as the event is going to begin and end earlier than it has in the past.
Activities are scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Friday, and things are going to wrap up at midnight. In the past, events were held until the early Saturday morning hours, but Rose said a number of other area Relay For Life groups have opted to end their activities at midnight.
“We’ll try it and see how it goes,” said Rose.
Another major change to this year’s event is the layout of the grounds at Gilfillan.
According to Sherry Brandt, who also serves on the steering committee, the goal was to move things closer together to create a more central location.
Rather than having the opening ceremony in the grassy area, the stage is being set up right next to the pavilion.
That set-up, said Char Burge-meister, steering committee member, is going to allow for all of the activities to be basically in on area, which she said is going to make it easier for attendees, especially the survivors who come.
Rose said the survivors are going to be able to walk around the shorter path that is lined with hope bags donated in honor of someone who is a survivor or who is currently battling cancer.
JoAnn Dehncke, steering committee member, said survivors can start showing up at 3 p.m. Friday.
This year in addition to some of the traditional fundraisers, Bingo is going to be played as a fundraiser.
The cards are $1 each, and there are two sessions of Bingo being played. The first starts right away at 3 p.m., with the second session starting after supper. The silent auctions are open at 3 p.m. Those putting in bids need to a present when winning bids are announced.
The opening ceremony officially begins at 7 p.m., and a variety of activities are planned as part of that program. However, based on suggestions, that program has also been shortened.
A survivor lap follows the opening ceremony, with the silent lap scheduled to take place at dusk – around 9:30 p.m.
Page 2 of 2 - Brandt said the silent lap is held to honor those who have died form cancer in the past year.
The fundraisers held during the night are also going to be set up next to the pavilion, with the concessions stand inside the pavilion.
With a lot of new things going on this year, those who have been planning the 2013 Relay For Life are not sure what to expect.
They said they want to try out the changes to see how it goes, adding they are hoping for a lot of input from attendees.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend Relay For Life 2013 to help remember those who have died, to celebrate those who are surviving and to help with the fight toward finding a cure for cancer.